Putting a Cap On It

I wasn’t going to make this a personal post, but ahh well.  Let’s go.

I have a bad habit of throwing up things up in men’s face, specifically the men in which I enter long term relationships.  I know I am not the only one, which is the only solace I find in being this open.  I’ve always understood that people are not perfect therefore anytime you engage with people- imperfection will occur.  It is on this premise that I find it easy to forgive people that fall short of my expectation.  It is comes easy for everyone except those I love the most.  It is near impossible for those whom I have a complete emotional investment.
Forgiveness requires three things:  understanding, a willing heart, and the ability to forget.  The first two are no problem for me.  I have both an open mind and an open heart, it is the forgetting parts that gets me.  I believe the “forget” part of forgiveness often is taken out of context because I don’t believe it means a complete erasure of an event from memory.  Our memory serves to protect us from our past so some things need to be remembered and reflected upon so you are aware when you might need to leave a toxic and unfruitful situation.  However, I believe in relationships, to forget is simply to not hold on to it to pull out and throw out whenever deemed necessary or convenient, ESPECIALLY after the situation has been addressed and been reconciled by both parties.
I believe the reason for my lack of forgetting, in part, is that maybe the reconciliation wasn’t as mutual as I thought initially.  Some wounds take more time to heal.  In rather than being an adult and using my words to say “xyz is still bothering me.”  I calculatedly wait for the most opportune to throw out the issue in the person’s face.  They can’t see it coming that way.  Defenses go up.  Emotions run high.  It is really not productive or beneficial.  It ultimately closes the door of honest and open communication because it negates the safe zone that should be the foundation of a healthy relationship.  The safe zone is the place where you can be yourself, honest, open about anything trusting that the other person will keep those words, feelings, and actions protected.
So in effort to grow and be better than I am, I will follow Kevin Hart’s advice and put a cap on it. I will use my words to communicate how I feel instead of using them to declare war.  I will remember that love, real love, has no leverage against each other.

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To My Exes’ Currents

 

 

If women had their way, these would be sold in stores to permanently remove exes from their boyfriend's database.

 

To My Exes’ Currents,

Most women whether they are over their ex or not have innate animosity to whoever replaces her in his life.  It seems the natural response to the new woman in an ex’s life is dissent.  The dissent can be constant whether the ex dumped her boyfriend, she got dumped, or the breakup was mutual.
It is out of this opposition that most “new” women seek to prevent any future arguments by requesting that all of the old flames be completely removed from the picture regardless of their current status.  This preventative measure is usually standard to include removing of pictures, phone numbers, and the elimination of all communication without exception.  For the new woman, it is the equivalent of having a magic eraser to erase prior women from his memory and database.  I have been on both sides of this erasure that is deep seated in insecurity and lack of trust.  Of course, there are cases where unhealthy and disrespectful ties should be severed.  However, the man, out of respect for you and what you both have, should take the initiative to evaluate and respond accordingly.  Honestly, if you can’t trust him to handle that much then is there really a point to move forward???
It is out of this sentiment that I decided the current women in exes’ lives deserved a shout out.  As I’ve stated before, I am cool, if not good friends, with the majority of my exes.  As friends, we talk, joke, and support each other’s various endeavors.  These friendships over time have become indispensable parts of my life.  However, if their current ladies had decided to enforce the erasure of all exes, such friendships would not be possible.   So today, I thank them for giving the previous women in their man’s lives a fair trial.  Even beyond a fair trial, these women gave time for the adjustment of interactions to take place.  What a thought? Beautifully secure black women.  I believe they deserve an applause.  Thank you for allowing my friendships to stay intact and thanks for setting a new standard.

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Love Is Not a Guessing Game…

If there is one thing I’ve learned (or relearned) recently, it is that love is not vague or ambiguous.  We have all been there where we are trying to figure what someone’s words or actions really means.  Women are especially prone to dissect every word of a text or tweet to find some latent, underlying deep profession of love- that 99% of the time is not there.
When you like someone it is easy, for both men and women, to create their own fantasies about a relationship that can have absolutely nothing to do with reality.  For example, if a lady goes out on a date with a man twice, he may say that she is his girlfriend when in reality, she is not.  Women often take the activities immediately before and immediately after a sexual encounter to mean more than the just sex it is.  Anything done right around that time span is just a mean to get sex and get more sex, it is not a relationship nor the foundation for one.  Then there are often the gray lines of friendship and sex where you can love a person as a friend and love the sex but doesn’t mean that one is in love with you or wants to go beyond the parameter of a friendship.  But as emotional creatures, as a defense mechanism and to justify our unsupported impulses to garner love, we hang on to the belief that there is more just if—the time was right, or he was single, or I tried a little harder, or I was a little smaller, or a little freakier. Or (my favorite) “I don’t even want a relationship” claim.   While some may not want a relationship, it is the ones that state that sentiment that yet do very “relationshipy” things in order to prove they are in fact relationship material.
Love, however, is not a guessing game.  It is very clear about its identity and goes through every effort to make it known to its intended recipient.  Love is full of the “good mornings” and “how is your days.”  It is the listening. digesting, and recalling.  It is caring enough to be moved into action.  Love is transparent and it is available.  Love is never too busy to return calls, texts, or emails.  Love prefers to see you over a call and a call over a text.  It is personal.  Love is not a subtle hint or a hidden code.  And while it can be shown in countless ways depending on the individual, it will always be an effort outside of your normal comfort zone.  It makes sure it leaves with no question about what it is and what its purpose is.  It is kinda obvious.

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Is It All Out of My System?

Recently, I was posed the question, “Have you done everything you wanted to do as a single woman?”  I answered confidently, “yes.”  It wasn’t until long after the conversation was over as the question still lingered as I begin to really dissect both the question and my response.  I was baffled because I wondered why I, in all of my relationships, had never been asked that question before.  Moreover, I wondered why I, in all of my genius, have never thought to pose this question before now.  If I had stopped to ask this before, I am positive I would have saved myself a lot of time and heartache— but then again, I wouldn’t have been able to answer “yes.”
Initially when asked, flash frames of everything I have done passed quickly before me.  I’ve done a lot.  I even reflected when my friend read an excerpt from The Single Girl’s Manifesta stating that you should go on 20 no-strings-attached dates before settling down….or something to that regard.  I have dated plenty, a few times over that number.  I was even lucky to fall in love a few times.  I was blessed to have my heart broken because it was that pain that facilitated my growth.  I have had more than enough experiences to know exactly what I want, and more important, what I need.  I have travelled both domestically and internationally.  I have witnessed and now know my own strength and resiliency.  I have lived with others and have lived on my own.  But, I wondered, if that was enough…
People undervalue the benefits of being single.  There is no checking in, no explanations, no accountability… I realized I was being childish.  I have to check in and be responsible in every other facet of my life.  I am held accountable for everything I do or omit- professionally, academically, spiritually, and financially.   Why should relationships be an exception?
However, as the question continued to haunt me, I thought more about the things I haven’t done.  The list is endless.  Then I concluded I was asking myself the wrong question.  The real question is, “What have you not done that you don’t want or can’t do within the confines of this relationship?” I replied out loud to myself, “Nothing.”

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Wanted: A Househusband

Welcome to another edition of Light Fridays…

I have been fixated with the notion of a househusband for a while now. While I am not a fan of the Real Housewives series, it seemed to the revive the housewife movement making such lifestyle trendy and desired.  What took some thousands of years to accomplish in the feminist movement for social equality was all undone within a year or so. Contrarily, I am not opposed to the need and desire to be a housewife for its intended purposes of providing a supportive and stable home for your children and family rather than the to spend the day shopping and doing “lunch” with other “housewives.”
It is for the intended purposes of the original concept to provide a supportive home to our family that leads me to desire a househusband.  A househusband will cook, clean, pick up the kids, go over homework, and manage the household. What will I be doing?? Well, I will be working of course.  I also want to go to school.  And there is, of course, having the babies. I think that notion alone warrants a househusband, right?
I am open-minded, though, progressive even.  I don’t mind him having a home-based business or working from home as long as he can balance the needs of the family. I mean the common goal is to raise brilliant and productive children that will in turn lead their people and country to greatness.  Why can’t the man play a prominent role in that goal…at least until I get a Dr. in front of my name?

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I Didn’t Want to Know Her Name

I told him I didn’t ever want to know her name.  Her is his ex.  I explained that in this case, less is more.  The less I know, the better.  You see before, I wanted to know it all – name, pictures, how often they communicated, etc.  It may have been the beginning of the end for my last relationships.  It was then when I lost control of our present worrying about his past.
As women, better known as detectives, it is easy to become completely consumed in wanting to know everything about any woman that may even think about every wanting to come close to your man.  It becomes a full time job.  Conversations with your man turn into interrogation sessions.  It is a red-flag of insecurity that I used to wave.  It is almost like there is a training course for insecure women to train insecure women on how to be more insecure.
Men are much different in that most time, and within reason, they could care less about their woman’s past.  Most times, a man’s confidence after he gets the girl is unmovable.  However, I still decided I will limit my conversations about my past escapades.  It is not that I have anything to hide, but because like me, I want him to focus on us and not my past.  It is a delicate balance being an open book yet exercising discretion.  But the reward is that despite our pasts, we can focus our energy on building our future.

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Don’t Test Me

I hate tests.  I am not talking about the ones you take in school either.  I actually like those tests.  You are given a certain amount of information to acquire and then are given a set of questions to ensure that information was acquired.  Very rarely are teachers completely unfair and throw in trick questions, or well at least in my experiences.  I have given plenty of trick answers though.  I’ve digressed.
The tests I am referring to are these semi-standardized tests given by men at large.  Men, seemingly, have a secret coalition that is dedicated to make sure women are filtered through a set of random and impromptu tests.  This test includes such things like:
  • Will she offer to pay?
  • Will she open my side of the door after I open her door?
  • If possible, would she smash my homie?
I think those are the general standardized tests.  It simply separates the ones worth dating from the ones that are not.  But as a man gets more serious about a woman, the tests are more relationship-specific.  It’s crazy.  It is so easy to be caught up in being perfect that you don’t realize that you are simply jumping through one hoop after another.  This is why I provide my disclaimer at the very beginning.  It reads:
I am not perfect nor do I try to be.  My only aim is for authenticity- it requires fewer apologies.
Even then, I have still been tested by men.  I mean, I understand.  I do.  I am not even mad at men for this.  I figure one ho was made wife one time too many and preventive measures had to be established.  Good men had had enough of having the wool pulled over their eyes time and time again.
But relationships cannot be based on a series of tests.  Tests never tell the entire story.  A blank or wrong answer doesn’t reveal that a person may have just lost their grandfather who was the only father figure they had.  Nor do tests expose the sexual assault a lady experienced the week before so her studying was filled with tears.  Or maybe a man had been working two jobs just to pay his way through school so he missed the test because he overslept.  Anything could have happened that could have interfered with a person providing an accurate account of their learning.
Time is the only true test.  Time is the only way to reveal the true measure of character and integrity.  Time tells the story.

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I Like My Men… Ready

Ready and Prepared- or so I thought...

I once said, “I like my men, like my entrée at my favorite restaurant, ready and prepared by time they make it to my table or I am sending it back!” I meant it.  I mean it.  However, at the time, I was referring to the superficial- his style, his career and making him a good fit for me.

It was out of my frustration in “preparing” my previous boyfriend that the statement had derived.  He, like most men his age, was rough around the edges.  He hadn’t quite found his own style yet.  He lacked focus on things important to him.  He was good to me, but me being my helpful self was always suggesting ways for him to improve.  This is clearly why we didn’t last.  However, I did leave a positive imprint on his life, and he did for me as well.  But in months and years after, he begin to evolve into what I thought was the perfect man for me.  The one I “prepared” for me all along.  I was wrong.
As time passed, I said I no longer wanted to go through that draining grooming process.  I wanted my next man “to be ready.”  The statement in itself is not foolish; in fact, it is practical.  It was my definition of “ready” that was erroneous.  It wasn’t until the last six months or so that “ready” begin to take on an entire new connotation for me.  Ready, for me, is now more of a mindset, rather than a destination.  I’ve realize the thing that separates the exceptional from the ordinary is that the exceptional are always in route to the next point.  There is no settling or extended complacency but always willing to be the driving force in their own progression- spiritually, financially, emotionally.  Ready is willing and capable of accepting your significant other’s well being as your own.
I’m so glad I came to that realization months ago because I may have missed this.  I would have been focusing on the insignificant and unwilling to put forth the small effort toward my own readiness.  What I am fortunate to have now is a heart of eternal readiness prepared by life and designed specifically for me.  There is a stark difference in the present in the past.  In what I have learned is that hearts cannot be groomed.

Thanks to everyone that has made this 100th post possible!!

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Things I Can’t Do for the First 10 Dates

At one point in time, I used to be a huge movie buff.  I loved to watch movies.  It wasn’t until recently, when friends begin to ask me if I had seen one movie or another that I realized that I am tragically behind on my movie game.  I think I’ve been to the movies twice this year and maybe twice last year, and actually I have probably been the movies less than 10 times in the last 3 or so years.  I told you- tragic.  After I thought about it, I realized that the reason I haven’t been to the movies that often is because that is a relationship outing and not a dating outing- at least for me.
When you are in a relationship, you can go to the movies whenever because you have spent and are spending time outside of the movies to really get know each other.  However, when you are dating, the movies don’t provide an atmosphere to get to know someone better.  You can’t talk to each other, you can’t see each other, and you can’t build experiences with one another.  It is a terrible and lazy date idea.  So for me, I say no movies for the first 10 dates.  Here are a few other things I refuse to do in the first 10 dates:
1)        Double Date. People are generally still trying to prove something in the first few months of dating and when that is coupled with another couple, it can easily turn into an unnecessary competition to out-“love” the other couple.   Men try to outdo men and women try to receive the most validation.  Or the other couple can be super argumentative and make the other couple feel completely uncomfortable.  Either way, I want no parts early on in dating.
2)        Meet the Parents. It’s just too soon.
3)        Go to Church Together. I know, I know but hear me out.  If it is your church and you are actively involved, it is like meeting the family if not worse.  It just opens up endless assumptions and expectations.  The only exception I have if we go to a church that neither of us attends.
4)        Work Out Together. I think people underestimate how intimate working out together can be.  It can easily expose all of your physical shortcomings in the daylight.  Then there is the sweating, exhaustion, and overall raggedness that comes after a good work out.  For instance, last night I was doing a 25-minute Ab-Ripper X video.   After which, I was laid out on the floor for the next hour.  I don’t want to look like a punk in front of my date.

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Dear Tiny,

Welcome to Another Edition of Light Fridays.

Dear Tiny,
Let’s be clear, I blame this entire fiasco on you.  I don’t know who is worse at holding your man down between  you or Whitney.  I believe there is a general misconception in what it means to hold you man down when dealing with hood mentalities and/or illegal recreational activities.  It does not mean go down with him, it means keeping him out of trouble for as long as possible.  And well, it has been less than 6 months since he was released from a halfway house, (why is it called that anyway? Half in prison, half free??) and less than a year since his prison release.  In short, you failed.  Do you see Jay-Z in and out of jail? No.   Here are a few suggestions of how you could have better held down your man,  yourself…and your children.

The owner of a Pruis doesn't get pulled over for random traffic stops.

1)      Smoke inside. And by inside I mean a house.  Anybody’s house.  A private estate.  I’m positive you could have found somewhere other than the streets of L. A. to get lifted.

2)      Rent a Toyota Pruis. A Maybach??? Really?  You both thought you were just going to blend in and go unnoticed as two black people in a Maybach?  Ok.

3)      Provide legal alternatives. I don’t smoke nor participate in illegal recreational activities, but I am sure there is something else more legal ya’ll could be doing on a Wednesday night.  What grown person completely wilds out on a Wednesday anyway?  Moreover, the fact that you have umpteen kids between the both of you should have been motivation enough.
Sincerely,
Ms. What I Need From You is Understanding


Happy Labor Day Weekend! See ya Tuesday!

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